Did you know that a flu shot is recommended for women during a pregnancy? The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and other organizations including Women’s Health recommend that all pregnant women get the influenza vaccine, regardless of the trimester, unless there are mitigating factors. Talk to us if you have any questions about the flu shot.
The influenza vaccine helps to protect both the baby AND the mother from the flu. In fact, getting the flu during pregnancy actually increases the chance of a mother getting hospitalized. Your body changes during pregnancy, and the immune system is affected. The flu can also prevent a baby from properly developing, as well. There is also the possibility of the flu even causing birth defects.
If the mother has a flu shot, these antibodies will be present when the mother breastfeeds her baby. These antibodies can even help improve the baby’s health after being born! Once the baby turns 6 months, he/she is old enough to receive their own flu shot.
Babies that receive flu shots are also healthier, larger, and less likely to be hospitalized. One of the great things about flu shots is that they often don’t require a trip to a clinic – you can likely get a flu shot at your local supermarket or pharmacy. Flu season is typically October to May, so it is not too late to receive your vaccine.